“100% COMMITTED.” Episcopal football standout Austin Sybrandt made his plans clear on Twitter when he proclaimed his commitment to Tulane University. The defensive end made it official when he signed with the Green Wave before the Christmas break on National Signing Day.
After only two years of playing football, Austin had a huge impact on the field for the Knights, and the sports community took notice. The Baton Rouge Advocate highlighted Austin’s efforts in this November article - A defensive stance: DE Austin Sybrandt, other senior leaders help set tone for No. 5 Episcopal. In addition, Austin was the BRProud.com Recruit of the Week. Knights Head Coach Travis Bourgeois says Austin had a tremendous senior season earning the District Defensive Player of the Year Award. “He is one of the most explosive defensive players that I have coached,” says Coach Bourgeois. “He led by example with his work ethic on and off the field.”
Austin’s on-field success also earned the attention of college recruiters. Ultimately, he chose to continue his football career not far from the Knights home field at Tulane University in New Orleans. “Tulane is a great fit for me because it is the perfect balance of academics and athletics,” says Austin. “Not every D1 school is able to maintain such a high academic reputation. The coaches over there are great and the program is definitely something I am proud to be a part of.”
Life as a college athlete can be a challenge, but Austin is up for it. Athletic Director Randy Richard says Austin is a “stalwart in the weight room and an all-around hard worker in athletics and academics.” As an athlete, Austin recognizes the importance of hard work and encourages others to do the same. “Some advice I would offer to younger athletes or other students is that it is never too late to try something new as long as you are willing to put in the work if it is something that you are passionate about,” he says. Coach Bourgeois is confident that Austin is ready for the next level. “Having played only two seasons, he will continue to improve his skill and physically develop into a college athlete,” says Bourgeois. “I look forward to watching him progress in college on the field and in the classroom.”
At Episcopal, Austin is a multi-sport athlete who maintains a strong commitment to academics. College Counselor Shandi Fazely describes Austin as “goal-oriented, collaborative, driven and energetic” and says these qualities will serve him well as he transitions to Tulane. Once at Tulane, Austin says he plans to pursue a degree in finance.
Knights fans had much to cheer for this season with a district title and an appearance in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs. Now in the offseason, it is rewarding to see players like Austin earn the opportunity to continue their athletic journey. Join us in congratulating Austin on his success. Share a message with him in the comments section below.
In addition to Austin signing with Tulane, Episcopal celebrated Dylan Mehrotra signing with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. You can read more about Dylan’s commitment here.
School traditions are important, especially the annual Junior Ring Ceremony. The occasion marks the “passing of the torch” from the senior class to the junior class and means students are one step closer to beginning the next phase in their educational journey.
A delegation of seventeen Episcopal students participated in the virtual Louisiana YMCA Youth Legislature conference from Friday, December 4 - December 6. On Friday, each student presented bills they had written and debate bills in committee.
On Saturday, bills that passed committee were debated in a House or Senate chamber. Seniors Adam Azmeh and Charlie Roth, and Juniors Emily Berg, Ruby Friloux, Ryan Asefi had bills that passed committee and were debated in a House or Senate chamber. All bills that passed were then evaluated by the Supreme Court for constitutionality before heading to the governor’s desk for approval. Emily Berg and Ruby Friloux’s bill passed their House chamber, was signed by the governor, and was voted by the members and leaders in that chamber as the outstanding bill in their House chamber. Senior Charlie Roth was voted by members and leaders in his chamber as an outstanding delegate.
On the final day’s plenary session, Shreya Kamath and Sarah Theriot’s bill passed the full House of Representatives and was signed by the governor. Abhay Basireddy and Robert Xing’s bill was one of just four bills debated by the full Senate and, but unfortunately was not passed.
This year’s delegation included ninth graders Isabella Civello, Glynes Hill, Riley Posey, and Joey Roth; tenth graders Akshay Basireddy, Shreya Kamath, and Carter McLean, Thomas O’Connor, and Sarah Theriot; juniors Ryan Asefi, Emily Berg, Davis Eglin, and Ruby Friloux; twelfth graders Adam Azmeh, Abhay Basireddy, Matthew Bickham, Charlie Roth, and Robert Xing.
Dr. Rebecca Kuhn
Dr. Rebecca Kuhn, Global and Social Studies Director, Exchange Program Coordinator, and AP Psychology teacher, has taught social studies classes at Episcopal since 2016 including AP World History, World History, US History, and US Government. Prior to moving to Baton Rouge, she lived and taught high school in South Korea and South Florida. She holds degrees from Sterling College, The University of Kansas, and Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Kuhn enjoys travelling, reading, and singing. She is married to Dr. Alan Newton.
As the world mourns the loss of Jeopardy!’s Alex Trebek, several Episcopal students are participating in competitions similar to the famous television game show. Members of the Episcopal Quiz Bowl team are incredibly bright and passionate about learning and that passion has paid off with impressive results this season. The team has already earned third and second place finishes at the Tal Atkins Memorial Tournament hosted by Caddo Magnet in Shreveport and the Louisiana Quiz Bowl Association Fall Tournament. With tournaments taking place online this year, these prodigies have the opportunity to compete in many more.
Preparing for a Quiz Bowl competition is similar to other team experiences. Just as athletes strengthen their muscles by lifting weights, quiz bowlers flex their brain power by running mock drills. Nine members of the team recently stayed after school on a Friday to answer questions on everything from evolutionary biology to French philosophers. Team leader Alex Nelson explains what makes the effort so rewarding. “Even before I knew Quiz Bowl existed, I always enjoyed learning (mostly useless) trivia that I could apply when solving crossword puzzles or that I would learn in class. I find it fun to learn trivia beyond what we’re taught in the classroom – although some of my past classes have certainly helped me answer questions – or beyond what is conventionally useful. (It might help that I have the tendency to get lost in endless rabbit holes on Wikipedia and to just keep reading about tangentially related topics.) To put it more succinctly, I find it very fun to learn something new – or, more often than not, many new things – with every practice.”
Even with the students’ natural inquisitiveness, it’s important to have a strategy. Quiz Bowl coach Dr. Billy Pritchard says each student is assigned a major area of specialization, such as literature, social studies/history or STEM and a minor specialization such as current events, philosophy, music, art or mythology. “A given student is responsible for mastering their major and minor fields,” he says. “Once they have, they can pick up an additional field.” Nelson says literature is her strong suit, although she is also learning more about visual art, music and philosophy. “Like many of the other members of Quiz Bowl, I am also able to answer a decent number of social studies and history questions and, at times, some science and math questions,” she says.
In addition to satisfying a quest for knowledge, Quiz Bowl has other benefits. Team member Justin Dynes explains more. “I think the number one thing that draws me into Quiz Bowl is definitely the sense of community that has grown over the past year. I have become close friends with many other people in Quiz Bowl through our practices and our meets. We even have some inside jokes that have grown over the years.” Dynes, who tries not to focus on just one topic area, says lately he has had success with science and math questions by using what he picked up in AP Chemistry and AP Calculus.
Quiz Bowl team members are a well-rounded group, with athletes, artists and National Merit Semifinalists among their numbers. Dynes and Nelson say Quiz Bowl has something for everyone. “I have talked to many people who think that it might be too difficult or that it focuses on obscure trivia knowledge,” says Dynes. “However, what people don’t realize is that most of my, as well as other people’s, knowledge in Quiz Bowl comes from the classes I have taken in high school. For example, United States History comes up a lot in questions, and I know a lot of people who know that information very well.” Nelson agrees. “I think that anyone has the potential to do well in Quiz Bowl,” she says. “That is, there is such a great variety of questions – from mythology and philosophy to sports and pop culture and more – that there is arguably a question type for everyone.”
Nelson, Dynes and Dr. Pritchard hope to build upon recent Quiz Bowl success. Students interested in participating or learning more about Quiz Bowl can contact any of them for more information.
Want to try your hand at the Quiz Bowl experience? Try answering the sample questions below from the National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC.
On the left side of this painting, a castle built by the Knights Templar sits on a hill above a structure that may represent Agali, a monastery once led by Saint Ildefonso. This painting exaggerates the height of a cathedral spire. In its foreground, rolling green hills border a river that is spanned by the Alcántara bridge. A stormy sky appears above the title Spanish city in—for 10 points—what painting by El Greco?
A version of this amino acid attached to an adenosine molecule serves as a common methyl donor cofactor. Chloroplasts, mitochondria, and bacteria use a formyl derivative of this compound. Cysteine and this compound are the only amino acids to contain sulfur. This amino acid is encoded by AUG, the start codon. For 10 points—name this amino acid used by ribosomes to begin protein translation.
1. View of Toledo (or Vista de Toledo)
2. Methionine (accept Met or M)
Congratulations to the following students for their outstanding performances on national language exams!
National Spanish Exam Results 2020
National Latin Exam Results 2020
Class of 2024
Joey Roth, National Latin Exam Silver
Ayush Patel, National Latin Exam Gold
Baylen Sim, National Latin Exam Silver
Class of 2023
Scott McAdams, National Latin Exam Gold
Noah Russell, National Latin Exam Silver
James Be, National Latin Exam Honorable Mention
Class of 2022
Sarah Griffith, National Latin Exam Gold; National Latin Translation Contest Certificate of
Commendation; National Mythology Exam Bronze
Justin Dynes, National Latin Exam Gold; National Latin Vocabulary Exam Silver; National
Mythology Exam Bronze
Arya Patel, National Latin Exam Silver; National Latin Vocabulary Exam Gold; National Mythology
Julian Romano, National Latin Exam Honorable Mention
Jack Williams, National Latin Vocabulary Exam Bronze
Class of 2021
Abhay Basireddy, National Latin Exam Gold; National Latin Vocabulary Exam Gold;
National Latin Translation Contest Book Award Winner
Robert Xing, National Latin Exam Gold; National Latin Vocabulary Exam Bronze;
National Mythology Exam Bronze
Madison Bell, National Latin Exam, Honorable Mention
43 - 0. That was the final score Friday night as the Knights defeated Dunham in the 2020 Homecoming game. The exciting contest capped off a week of fun activities and traditions.
Congratulations to this year's Homecoming Queen - Julia Frazer and Homecoming King - Allen Stewart!
Congratulations to the entire Homecoming court!
Competition after incredible success at the local competition. On Saturday, he will pitch his plan for FACEtutor to a worldwide audience, with viewers having the opportunity to vote for their top choice.
According to the official Instagram page, FACEtutor is an “on-demand video tutoring service, that allows students to get help for qualified tutors whenever they need it.” Thomas says the mobile application is similar to Uber in that a student can access a tutor whenever they need assistance and tutors can log on whenever they are available to help. The inspiration for FACEtutor arose from Thomas’ own experience as an Episcopal tutor.
At Episcopal, Thomas provides support for his classmates in math, science, social studies, English and Spanish. He is passionate about helping others, and tutoring offers him a rewarding way to do that. His face lights up as he describes the excitement he sees in others when they first understand a new concept or finally find the answer to a hard to solve problem. He hopes FACEtutor will make it possible for more of those “a-ha” moments with a broader range of students. Counselor Robin Talamo says Thomas’ willingness to help others has made him a “go to” student for campus tutoring. “He really puts himself out there with students, giving of his free time, and truly becoming invested in their success,” she says. “He has a level of professionalism that is far beyond that of his age. Yet, as amazing as he is with his gifts, he is also equally humble about his accomplishments.”
Thomas has already accomplished a lot in a very short period of time with FACEtutor, earning the top prize from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Baton Rouge this spring. Participating in the program allowed Thomas the opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship and the skills needed to make FACEtutor a reality. The experience was inspiring. “I loved the YEA,” says Thomas. “It helped me learn all aspects of business. It was specialized to what I need and very useful.” As Thomas learned more about entrepreneurship, he explored existing online tutoring options and found that FACEtutor’s objective of providing easy, 24/7 access in a video chat format is unique. Through YEABR, Thomas continued to fine-tune his concept, learning more about business plan development, logo design and how to create a solid pitch. As the winner of the local competition, he received $5,000 to support his endeavor and the chance to compete on a national stage.
The events of 2020 have certainly underscored the importance of the accessible tutoring that FACEtutor seeks to provide. Thomas points to the number of schools in which students are not on campus and are only learning online. He says there is a “need for more personalized help” when in-person learning is not taking place. What was initially created to support students with real-time learning needs has now become a timely idea that meets the needs of students experiencing learning in new and unusual circumstances.
On Saturday, October 17th, Thomas will pitch FACEtutor to a worldwide audience as he competes against 36 middle and high school students from 20 states across the country. He will be part of Panel 2, whose members will present their business models between 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm. Viewers must register in advance here to participate in the text-to-vote People’s Choice Award selection. The competition will be streamed live on YEA’s YouTube and Facebook channels.
Earning the title of next top young entrepreneur would be a tremendous boost for FACEtutor and Thomas. “It would mean more money to help me start the business,” he says. It would also provide Thomas the national recognition he needs to fully develop and launch the app. While Thomas is not yet sure of his ultimate career goals, he does hope that FACEtutor CEO is in his future. This weekend will be a huge step toward making that happen.
To read about previous Episcopal students who participated in YEABR, click here.
Leave a message congratulating Thomas in the comments section below.
Congratulations to the 2020 Episcopal Homecoming Court!
The Knights take on Dunham for the 2020 Homecoming game on Friday, October 30th at 7:00 pm. Fans can catch the action live on Cox Sports Television/Channel 37 or via the Twitter simulcast at @ESHBRAthletics. Tickets for general admission go on sale Wednesday, October 28th at 10:00 am.
The Episcopal Wearable Arts course is proof that art is meant for more than decorating walls or hanging in museums. Upper School students recently participated in a fashion photoshoot highlighting their wearable creations, which included everything from hats and earrings to boots and blue jeans.
The project was an opportunity for students to learn more about their family heritage as students were encouraged to create wearable art based on their origins. With family trees reaching back to France, Vietnam, Denmark, Germany, Scotland, South Korea and more, there was plenty of inspiration to be discovered.
The photoshoot was an opportunity to celebrate the students’ accomplishments. “With Music and Theater, students have a performance where all of their peers and parents acknowledge the hard work they’ve done,” says art teacher Veronica Hallock. “This was the first really big assignment the students completed. I wanted to create a finish line, where they could be excited for each other and celebrate what they created.”
Budding artists at Episcopal are fortunate to have a range of arts courses to explore. “With the arts being cut more and more, many schools don’t have the means to offer more specialized classes,” says Hallock. “I was fortunate enough to have a fiber arts class in my high school which was the inspiration for me wanting to start this class!”
From future artists to scientists and explorers, Episcopal offers academics to inspire and challenge tomorrow’s leaders. The new Wearable Arts course is sure to be a favorite for years to come. We know you'll enjoy these final creations. Leave these students a comment below congratulating them.
Episcopal School of Baton Rouge is pleased to recognize twelve National Merit Semifinalists and three Commended Scholars from the Class of 2021. The fifteen students represent approximately 15% of the school’s 103-member senior class.
National Merit Semifinalists:
According to the National Merit Scholarship Program, close to two million students compete each year, with approximately 16,000 making it to the semifinal round. Semifinalists are top scorers on the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test/PSAT test in their state.
National Merit finalists will be announced in February with winners named in the spring. The selection committee reviews student grades, activities and leadership, as well as school information to determine the winners. Scholarships are then awarded from the National Merit Scholarship Program, corporations, colleges and universities.